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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

180                        ETYMOLOCT OF BHAT-KOKD AKD  BE1HD/-BAH.

d^ some venerable specimens of the khirni form an imposing avenaa
The garden bears the name of KusMi, a wealthy Seth from G-njarat, at whose
expense it was constructed, and vho also founded one of the largest temples
in the city of Mathura. A little beyond, on the opposite side of the way, in a
piece of waste ground, which was once an orchard, is a large and handsome
Muli of red sand-stonef with a flight of 57 steps leading down to the level of
the water. This was the gift of Ahalya Bai, the celebrated Mahratta Queen of
Indor, who died in 1795. It is still in perfect preservation, but quite unused.
Further on5 in the hamlet of Akriir, on the verge of a cliff overlooking a wide
expanse of alluvial land, is the temple of Bhat-rond? a solitary tower containing
an image of BiMri Ji. In front of it is a forlorn little court-yard with walls
and entrance gateway all crumbling into ruin. Opposite is a large garden
of the Seth% and on the roadway that runs between^ a fair, called the Bhat-mela,
is held on the full moon of Kartik ; when sweetmeats are scrambled among the
crowd by the visitors of higher rank? seated on the top of the gate. The word
Bhat-rond is always popularly connected with the incident in Krishna's life
which the naela commemorates  how that he and his brother Balaram one day,
having forgotten to supply themselves with provisions before leaving home5 had
to borrow a meal of rice (bhdt) from some Brahmans' wives  but the true
etymology (though an orthodox Hindu would regard the suggestion as heretical)
refers,, like most of the local names in iae neighbourhood^ merely to physi-
cal phenomena, and Bhat-rond may be translated  tide-wall/ or & break-
water.7
Similarly, the word Brinda-ban is derived from an obvious physical feature^
and when first attached to the spot signified no more than the  { tulsi orove ;'
Irindd and tulsi being synonymous terms, used indifferently to denote the sacred
aromatic herb known to botanists as   Oeymum sanctum.    But this explanation
is far too simple to find favour with the more modern and extravagant school
of Vaishnava sectaries ; and in the Brahma Vaivarta Parana, a mythical per-
sonage has been invented bearing the name of Vrinda.    According to that
spurious composition (Brak Vai, v. iv. 2) the deified Badha, though inhabit-
ing the Paradise of Goloka? was not exempt from human passions^ and in a fit
of jealousy condemned a Gopa by name Sridama to descend upon earth in the
form of the demon Sankhachura.    He, in retaliation? sentenced her to become
a nymph of Brinda-ban and there accordingly she was born? being, as was
supposed , the daughter of Kedara, but in reality the divine mistress of Krishna :
and it was simply his love for her which induced the god to leave his solitary
throne in iaeaTen and become incarnate.    Hence IE the following list of BMM's